Welcome to the Internet Science and Technology Fair (ISTF)! 

ISTF Final Judges are practicing professionals who possess educational, technical, scientific, and/or engineering expertise. They donate their time and apply their knowledge to ensure the feasibility, accuracy, and fair evaluation of ISTF projects according to real-world standards.

The following summaries should help participating ISTF Final Judges as they spend time preparing for, during, and completing participation in the ISTF (and help potential judges decide whether to participate). 


Below is a brief outline of issues to consider when preparing for participation as an ISTF Final Judge.

  • ALL Judges, please note: 

    • All aspects of project judging occur online.

    • Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher is recommended for viewing projects.

    • Macromedia's Flash Player plug-in is also recommended.

  • Review the ISTF Website

    • The following links are especially important:

      • Schedule: important dates and deadlines (NOTE: Please ensure as best you can that you will be available sometime during the ten days allotted for the Final Round of Judging.)

      • "My ISTF": account creation and login

      • Past-Year Winners: exemplary ISTF projects 

      • Project Guidelines: requirements that build the framework for each ISTF project (key resource)

  • Setup an ISTF Judge Account (NOTE: All ISTF Accounts are free of cost.)

    • Go to the "My ISTF" page

    • Under "Judges," click "New"

    • Enter the required information

  • Complete "Profile Setup" after first login

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Below is a brief outline of the responsibilities ISTF Final Judges handle during the ten-day evaluation period. (Please see the Schedule for the current year's dates.) 

  • Login to Your ISTF Judge Account Often

    • The amount of time it takes to assign projects to judges may vary.

    • Check your "Project List" periodically to see if it has changed.

  • Evaluate the Projects (up to 6) Assigned to You

    • You can complete this task any time during the ten-day period.

  • Tips for judging projects

    • If you encounter a link which doesn't work, please try the same link from another page (such as the homepage.)

    • Many projects place components and tasks in a clear format; however, some projects do not make it clear and may combine two into one larger paragraph.

    • When many links, menus or pages do not work, please consider the possibility of a browser issue.

    • Browser Compatibility Issues

      • Internet Explorer 6 on average is the most compatible with Project Websites.

        • One possible reason for this is it seems to be the most forgiving when handling "invalid" html code and URLs.

      • Netscape 7 is generally the only version which seems to work fairly well. If you encounter problems, please try Internet Explorer if possible.

      • Although AOL uses Internet Explorer, the AOL interface seems to interfere with page layout. If possible, minimize AOL and open Internet Explorer from your desktop.

  • Use the Online Rubric for Each Project to Enter Scores

    • The rubrics are different for Elementary, Middle and High Schools

    • There a comment boxes for each section (A, B, C, D)

      • Comments in these fields have been very helpful when conflicts in scores arise.

      • For example:
        Team 04-### has 2 scores.

        • Judge 1 gave 4 of 5 points for a task.

        • Judge 2 gave 0 of 5 points for the same task.

      • When verifying scores, a determination must be made as to which is more accurate and why.

      • Judge comments have been extremely helpful in this process.

    • Save your scores as partial until you feel comfortable.

      • One reason for this is it allows you to judge a few teams and get a feel for the guidelines, rubrics and "judging" before committing your scores.  Possibly after judging 6 teams, your scores for the first project may be different.

    • If you have participated as a Judge before and have ideas or thoughts that may help new Judges, please email them to ISTF Webmaster

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Completing participation in the ISTF Program involves lighter duty. Below are the basic steps for completion. 

  • Contact the ISTF Staff to Share Your Thoughts

  • Consider Your Participation Next Year

    • You can reuse your account for the following year's competition (you will retain all your information, including your Profile).

      • You can serve as a final judge again.

      • Or you can convert your account and become a technical advisor.

    • Check the new year's Schedule and mark the dates on your calendar.

  • Return to Your Account and View Judging Data

    • After the completion of all judging occurs, ISTF Final Judges may enjoy the opportunity to review and compare:

      • All of their scores (project quality relative to other projects), 

      • Rankings of the projects they scored (see where these projects finished), and 

      • Judges' comments (measure their input against that of other judges).

    • This information will most likely prove interesting and beneficial (especially for those planning to participate as judges in years to come.)

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